PowerLine – How Trump Could Win
- Guccifer speaks
- Van Jones Admits Dems Need Minorities to Remain Poor and Resentful
- How Trump Could Win
- Three Cheers for Fracking
- From the Clinton playbook
Posted: 04 May 2016 03:28 PM PDT
Catherine Herridge and Pamela Browne advance the mind-boggling story of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to conduct official business as Secretary of State with a blockbuster. We noted their report that the the Romanian hacker Guccifer was extradited to the United States last month in “Enter Guccifer.”. Guccifer is in detention at a federal facility in Virginia.
Herridge and Browne have now interviewed Guccifer on one occasion in person and subsequently in recorded phone calls. They report that Guccifer claims to have hacked Clinton’s server. He says it was easy and that he saw evidence of hacking by others:
The infamous Romanian hacker known as “Guccifer,” speaking exclusively with Fox News, claimed he easily – and repeatedly – breached former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s personal email server in early 2013.
“For me, it was easy … easy for me, for everybody,” Marcel Lehel Lazar, who goes by the moniker “Guccifer,” told Fox News from a Virginia jail where he is being held.
Guccifer’s potential role in the Clinton email investigation was first reported by Fox News last month. The hacker subsequently claimed he was able to access the server – and provided extensive details about how he did it and what he found – over the course of a half-hour jailhouse interview and a series of recorded phone calls with Fox News. Fox News could not independently confirm Lazar’s claims.
The former secretary of state’s server held nearly 2,200 emails containing information now deemed classified, and another 22 at the “Top Secret” level.
The 44-year-old Lazar said he first compromised Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal’s AOL account, in March 2013, and used that as a stepping stone to the Clinton server. He said he accessed Clinton’s server “like twice,” though he described the contents as “not interest[ing]” to him at the time.
“I was not paying attention. For me, it was not like the Hillary Clinton server, it was like an email server she and others were using with political voting stuff,” Guccifer said.
The hacker spoke freely with Fox News from the detention center in Alexandria, Va., where he’s been held since his extradition to the U.S. on federal charges relating to other alleged cyber-crimes. Wearing a green jumpsuit, Lazar was relaxed and polite in the monitored secure visitor center, separated by thick security glass.
In describing the process, Lazar said he did extensive research on the web and then guessed Blumenthal’s security question. Once inside Blumenthal’s account, Lazar said he saw dozens of messages from the Clinton email address.
Asked if he was curious about the address, Lazar merely smiled. Asked if he used the same security question approach to access the Clinton emails, he said no – then described how he allegedly got inside.
“For example, when Sidney Blumenthal got an email, I checked the email pattern from Hillary Clinton, from Colin Powell from anyone else to find out the originating IP. … When they send a letter, the email header is the originating IP usually,” Lazar explained.
He said, “then I scanned with an IP scanner.”
Lazar emphasized that he used readily available web programs to see if the server was “alive” and which ports were open. Lazar identified programs like netscan, Netmap, Wireshark and Angry IP, though it was not possible to confirm independently which, if any, he used.
In the process of mining data from the Blumenthal account, Lazar said he came across evidence that others were on the Clinton server.
“As far as I remember, yes, there were … up to 10, like, IPs from other parts of the world,” he said.
With no formal computer training, he did most of his hacking from a small Romanian village.
Lazar said he chose to use “proxy servers in Russia,” describing them as the best, providing anonymity.
Cyber experts who spoke with Fox News said the process Lazar described is plausible. The federal indictment Lazar faces in the U.S. for cyber-crimes specifically alleges he used “a proxy server located in Russia” for the Blumenthal compromise.
Herridge and Browne have sought to confirm Guccifer’s assertions to the extent possible. Here is their conclusion:
While Lazar’s claims cannot be independently verified, three computer security specialists, including two former senior intelligence officials, said the process described is plausible and the Clinton server, now in FBI custody, may have an electronic record that would confirm or disprove Guccifer’s claims.
“This sounds like the classic attack of the late 1990s. A smart individual who knows the tools and the technology and is looking for glaring weaknesses in Internet-connected devices,” Bob Gourley, a former chief technology officer (CTO) for the Defense Intelligence Agency, said.
Gourley, who has worked in cybersecurity for more than two decades, said the programs cited to access the server can be dual purpose. “These programs are used by security professionals to make sure systems are configured appropriately. Hackers will look and see what the gaps are, and focus their energies on penetrating a system,” he said.
Cybersecurity expert Morgan Wright observed, “The Blumenthal account gave [Lazar] a road map to get to the Clinton server. … You get a foothold in one system. You get intelligence from that system, and then you start to move.”
In March, the New York Times reported the Clinton server security logs showed no evidence of a breach. On whether the Clinton security logs would show a compromise, Wright made the comparison to a bank heist: “Let’s say only one camera was on in the bank. If you don‘t have them all on, or the right one in the right locations, you won’t see what you are looking for.”
Gourley said the logs may not tell the whole story and the hard drives, three years after the fact, may not have a lot of related data left. He also warned: “Unfortunately, in this community, a lot people make up stories and it’s hard to tell what’s really true until you get into the forensics information and get hard facts.”
For Lazar, a plea agreement where he cooperates in exchange for a reduced sentence would be advantageous. He told Fox News he has nothing to hide and wants to cooperate with the U.S. government, adding that he has hidden two gigabytes of data that is “too hot” and “it is a matter of national security.”
In early April, at the time of Lazar’s extradition from a Romanian prison where he already was serving a seven-year sentence for cyber-crimes, a former senior FBI official said the timing was striking.
“Because of the proximity to Sidney Blumenthal and the activity involving Hillary’s emails, [the timing] seems to be something beyond curious,” said Ron Hosko, former assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division from 2012-2014.
There was no immediate response from the FBI or Clinton campaign.
Whole thing here, all of it worth reading.
|Van Jones Admits Dems Need Minorities to Remain Poor and Resentful
Posted: 04 May 2016 03:19 PM PDT
CNN contributor Van Jones has taken to Facebook with a video in which he warns that Trump is likely to win the election because of his mastery of the new social media landscape of today. This might be true, but his electoral math is more interesting:
“70 percent of African Americans have a horrible view of Donald Trump,” Jones continued. “In order for the Democrats to win the White House they don’t have to get 50 percent of the black vote or 60, or 70, or 80, or 90, Democrats in order to win historically need 90 to 92 percent of the black vote. If only 70 percent don’t like Donald Trump, that means 30 percent are open to his argument. If he gets half of those, he’s president.”
Let this sink in slowly. Ensuring that Democrats continue to receive black votes in a monolithic block, it is in their interest for blacks to remain poor and resentful, which is why agitators like Jones work overtime to keep racism alive and boiling. If blacks in larger numbers entered the middle class, more of them would likely start voting Republican. No wonder the left makes sure to reinforce the idea that your skin color or ethnicity should determine your ideology and your vote, and why dissenters like Clarence Thomas are demonized. It’s rare to see this implicitly acknowledged. Jones is right to be scared.
|How Trump Could Win
Posted: 04 May 2016 12:54 PM PDT
First of all, kudos to Roger Simon of Pajamas Media, who said last summer that Trump would be the nominee and is in a strong position to win the general election. He takes a well-deserved victory lap today:
That seemed a bold prediction at the time — that the presidency, not just the Republican nomination, which he now has, was Trump’s to lose. But it really wasn’t so courageous. It was almost obvious, if you would let yourself look. And equally obviously, it still holds true. With all the sound and fury, nothing has changed.
Donald Trump did alter the nature of American politics, possibly forever, but at least for the foreseeable future, the moment he came down that Trump Tower escalator to announce his campaign. And he will, most likely, be the next president of the United States.
Hillary is out today with two new ads showing all of the Republicans who trashed Trump in the last few months. These ads might well reinforce the Never Trumpers among Republicans, but I can easily see them backfiring with independents and disaffected Democrats. It sends the message that Trump really is truly independent of the hated Republican establishment.
Notice, incidentally, that the exit polls yesterday showed Trump beating Hillary on the issue of who would be better able to handle the economy. If the economy is the leading issue in November (as it usually is), then this race is a lot closer than currently looks in the polls. And by the way, have you noticed that Trump consistently runs ahead of his polls? Just as there were “shy Tories” in Britain last year, I suspect there are a lot of shy Trump voters right now.
Finally, Howard Fineman at the Puffington Host lists “Seven Reasons Donald Trump Could Win.” It is a fairly obvious and unremarkable account, but at the very bottom there appears this:
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.
That’s objective, non-biased media for you! Expect a lot more of this right through election day. I suspect it will be worth at least a million votes for Trump.
|Three Cheers for Fracking
Posted: 04 May 2016 09:52 AM PDT
Yesterday the Department of Energy released a brief report showing that the fracking boom has cut the average household’s energy costs by about $750 a year:
Since June 2014, decreases in crude oil and natural gas prices have reduced household energy costs. According to initial figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the chained consumer price index for urban consumers (C-CPI-U) decreased by 1.2% from June 2014 to February 2016. Lower energy prices had a significant impact on this decrease in spite of increases in the food and shelter components of the overall index, which represent larger shares of household expenses. The overall index edged up 0.6% in March as real crude oil prices rose 18.1%, while natural gas prices continued to decline.
These two DoE charts tell the story:
If you’re an environmentalist, this is obviously a major bummer, and a signal failure of the Obama presidency.
With Bernie Sanders calling for a nationwide ban on fracking, Hillary Clinton should be pressed hard to declare herself very specifically on the issue, and not be allowed to fudge the matter as she is trying to do with coal. Right now she’s trying to straddle the issue, with talk of allowing local communities to decide. This would be fine if the federal government would allow local communities (like, say, Alaska) to decide in favor of resource extraction. Hillary needs to be cornered on her one-way street.
|From the Clinton playbook
Posted: 04 May 2016 06:06 AM PDT
The editors of the New York Post do justice to the performance of Hillary Clinton in West Virginia on Monday. I took a whack at it in “The Clinton context” and “From the Terrell Owens playbook,” but the Post’s editors do better:
Figuring she has the Democratic nomination sewn up, Hillary Clinton this week headed to swing state West Virginia, aiming to “feel the pain” of coal country.
But then she ran into Bo Copley, a recently laid-off miner.
He hit her with her comments from last month, explaining her clean-energy program: “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business,” she’d said.
Bo didn’t like that much: “I just want to know how you can say you’re going to put a lot of coal miners out of, out of jobs, and then come in here and tell us how you’re going to be our friend.”
Clinton’s eye-rolling answer: “What I was saying is that the way things are going now, we will continue to lose jobs.”
Not true: She was plainly promising her policy would put miners out of work.
More lies: “I didn’t mean that we were going to do it, what I said was, that is going to happen unless we take action to try to help and prevent it.”
And she still means to kill those jobs, as Democratic Party chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz clarified later: “In saying she made a misstatement, I don’t think she was backtracking on the substance of what she said” in explaining her anti-coal energy plan.
No wonder Clinton failed as a diplomat: Even her pals can’t pretend to believe her lies.
The lady, if I may call her that, lies with the frequency, skill and conviction of a pathological liar.